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Tulsi Tea (Holy Basil Tea)

What is tulsi tea

Tulsi tea, also known as holy basil tea, is a popular herbal infusion prepared from the leaves of holy basil or tulsi, an aromatic herb grown in the Indian subcontinent, and all across the Southeast Asian tropics. The high therapeutic value of the caffeine-free drink is attributed to the presence of antioxidants and other health-promoting ingredients.

Tulsi Tea (Holy Basil Tea)

History and origin

Apart from its religious and mythological significance, tulsi was valued as a remedial herb in Ayurvedic medicine for treating an array of illnesses ranging from cold and fever to abdominal conditions. It has also been used in Roman, Siddha, and Greek medicine for more than thousands of years.

Tulsi Tea

Tulsi Tea

Tulsi tea health benefits: What is it good for

For nervous system

Some studies have shown that its use could be beneficial for relieving the symptoms of epilepsy and other diseases of the nervous system, involving motor-sensory coordination difficulties. Having adaptogenic properties makes it a good anti-stress remedy regulating the levels of the stress hormone cortisol that plays a role in counteracting the harmful effects of free radicals, helping in calming the nerves, thereby reducing stress and anxiety.


A warm cup of the herbal decoction can provide relief from headaches associated with migraine and other stress-related conditions.

Cardiovascular health

The magnesium in the herbal drink improves the functioning of blood vessels while lowering the cholesterol levels, boosting blood circulation, and thus curbing the risk of high blood pressure and heart disorders, including atherosclerosis. Its antioxidants also have positive effects on the heart.

Effects on respiratory system

Its ability to support the immune system comes from the presence of cineole, camphene, and eugenol having antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, beneficial for inflammatory, allergic and infectious conditions of the respiratory system, including asthma, bronchitis, cough, and cold. Moreover, the expectorant properties in holy basil are responsible for clearing lung congestion while its anti-tussive effects aid in reducing cough.

Tulsi Tea Pictures

Tulsi Tea Pictures

For digestion

A useful herbal drink for facilitating digestion, reducing constipation and indigestion, its anti-inflammatory effects are believed to prevent a host of abdominal ailments such as Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Besides improving the appetite, the effectiveness of holy basil tea in promoting liver health also contributes to its digestion-boosting capacity.

Weight loss

Its consumption might improve metabolism, burning more calories, and thereby assisting in losing weight.

Lowers risk of cancer

Along with antioxidants, its anti-carcinogenic properties inhibit the growth and development of cancer cells by fighting against the harmful free radicals in the body, preventing cancer.


According to some previous research studies, consumption of the herbal infusion brings down the blood sugar levels by about 18% in diabetic patients, acting as an effective remedy for non-insulin-dependent diabetes.

Helpful for kidneys

While acetic acid and other compounds present in the essential oils of the tea facilitate breaking down of kidney stones, its detoxifying and diuretic effects aid in lowering the uric acid levels by enhancing the functioning of the kidneys for eliminating the harmful toxins, minimizing the risk of infection and formation of stones.


It acts as a natural COX-2 inhibitor exhibiting anti-inflammatory effects, alleviating swelling and pain in the joints, particularly in the case of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, the antioxidants have a vital role in preventing the joints from undergoing damage. [2, 5]

Tulsi Green Tea

Tulsi Green Tea

Tulsi Leaves

Tulsi Leaves

Skin and hair problems

It contains polyphenols that behave as antioxidants, slowing down the process of skin aging. Having tulsi tea is also beneficial for other skin conditions like eczema, ringworms, acne, rashes, and dark circles as well as hair-related issues such as hair fall and itchy scalp. [2, 6]

Oral and dental protection

The strong aroma of holy basil tea helps in fighting bad breath, making it useful as a good mouth freshener. In addition to having antimicrobial properties, responsible for reducing infection in the mouth caused by bacteria and germs, it can be consumed for several other oral and dental conditions such as mouth ulcers and pyorrhea.

For physical stamina

It enhances the body’s capacity to utilize oxygen, increasing physical strength, and endurance capacity.

Being an anti-stress herbal drink, it might help in quitting smoking. Its active ingredients are also responsible for reducing fever in those suffering from malaria and dengue, counteracting the harmful effects of radiation therapy and sun rays, improving vision, boosting memory, and inducing sleep.

How to make tulsi tea

  • Add fresh tulsi leaves or dried tulsi tea leaves in a teapot
  • Pour boiling water into the teapot
  • Steep for about 5-10 minutes
  • Strain the mixture
  • Sweeten the tea with honey or sugar
Tulsi Tea Images

Tulsi Tea Images

Tulsi Plant

Tulsi Plant

Is tulsi tea safe

Side effects

Although tulsi tea is generally considered safe for drinking, it has been found to contain anticoagulant properties that may prevent formation of blood clots. If you are already taking blood-thinning medications, then avoid its use to inhibit interactions. Since holy basil is known to absorb chromium at a higher dose, excessive consumption might result in chromium poisoning.

During pregnancy

Its consumption by pregnant women is believed to not cause any harmful effects. However, the herbal infusion might be unsafe during late pregnancy due to its anticoagulant effects. Breastfeeding mothers are advised to consult a physician before its use. [5]

Tulsi Leaf Tea

Tulsi Leaf Tea

Where to buy tulsi tea

The aromatic dried Tulsi tea leaves and tea bags can be purchased from any herbal tea retail shop or online store. Some of its well-known variations like tulsi green tea, tulsi sweet rose tea, tulsi ginger tea, and tulsi brahmi tea are also available in the local markets. You can also try out tulsi masala tea, a healthy blend of tulsi leaves and a variety of grounded spices.

Article was last reviewed on 24th July 2021

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One thought on “Tulsi Tea (Holy Basil Tea)

  1. Taylor says:

    How often are you supposed to drink Tulsi tea to get the health benefits

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